Man just wants to go to prison

PRISON service bosses have come under fire because of the number of people who have been able to walk out of custody - but today an Ipswich man told about his frustration at being unable to get into jail!Rodney Cook is a member of Ipswich's Greenfinch Church, Greenfinch Avenue, and hoped to visit a prisoner in Pentonville jail in London during a trip to the capital this weekend.

PRISON service bosses have come under fire because of the number of people who have been able to walk out of custody - but today an Ipswich man told The Evening Star about his frustration at being unable to get into jail!

Rodney Cook is a member of Ipswich's Greenfinch Church, Greenfinch Avenue, and hoped to visit a prisoner in Pentonville jail in London during a trip to the capital this weekend .

But all his attempts to book a visiting slot have been frustrated by the booking system in operation at the jail.

Mr Cook, a senior manager at Ipswich Borough Council, has been trying for days to get through to the prison by phone.


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He said: “It seems as if the prison authorities want to make it as difficult as possible visit inmates - you would have thought that in the 21st century you could have booked a visit by e-mail or something like that.

“You have to book a visiting slot by ringing a special line, but it has been impossible to get through.

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“Most of the time the line is engaged. When it does ring you find yourself cut off after about two minutes.

“I have tried regularly to get through but there is no way of making contact. I rang the main number for the prison and asked to be put through to the governor's secretary, but I was told if I had a complaint I would have to put it in writing.”

Mr Cook said he found the whole process daunting.

He said: “I have never been into a prison before. This chap is someone who I met through the church when he lived in a hostel in Ipswich. He has no family and no one else to visit him.”

A spokesman for the Prison Service said they were not aware of any problems at Pentonville and said Mr Cook should take up his problems with the prison directly.

Weblink:

www.homeoffice.gov.uk

n Have you experienced similar problems while trying to visit a prison? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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